Students write for rights

Students join global amnesty letter-writing campaign

December 5, 2019
Ariel Wish '20

Students write letters as part of an Amnesty International global human rights campaign recently.

Students passing through Alliot Hall at Saint Michael’s College on Saturday, November 23 stopped to join the local Amnesty International group in writing letters to government officials on behalf of wrongly accused prisoners.

“Our vision is to ensure all people in the world, wherever they live of whoever they are, enjoy the 30 human rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” said Caroline Smiles, coordinator for Champlain Valley’s chapter of Amnesty International that this year chose to hold the annual “Write for Rights” event at Saint Michael’s College. “We thought, ‘wouldn’t it be wonderful to hold Write for Rights at a college, where there may be students interested in human rights?’” she said.

At the same time that St. Mike’s students were writing letters to promote human dignity, so were millions of people all around the globe. “Last year, Amnesty International wrote a total of 3.8 million letters, which led to numerous prisoners being released,” said Smiles. Cases of released prisoners were spread across the table for students to read as they wrote their letters.
With the help of Moise St. Louis and students from the Multicultural Affairs Center, the event turned out to be a huge success. Some students even signed up to receive more information about Amnesty International, hoping to eventually start their own group at St. Mike’s.

This poster shows some of the wrongly detained prisoners who were subjects of this campaign. (Photos by Ariel Wish ’20)

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights.


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